Using Motorsport To Fight Crime In Nigeria
Nigeria is a country that is so blessed abundantly with numerous resources in human and nature. With over 200 million people, Nigeria can boast of venturing into any field of life it desires, as well as compete strongly for honours in the chosen field.
With Nigeria’s population, it is only natural that the good, the bad, and the ugly would be found among Nigerians. This has given rise to increased crime in the country. Consequently, fighting crime has become a very tough job for the agencies that are charged with the responsibility of combating and eradicating crime.
Violent crimes, such as: armed robbery, kidnapping, rape and gang-related crimes have become very common among Nigerians. Government, at all levels, has been making efforts to fight crimes, especially among the youths. Government agencies – the police and others – have been discharging their duties, as best as they could.
But the truth about the matter is that crimes have eaten so deep among the youths. The major reason for this is lack of employment for the teeming Nigerian youths.
Sports, however, have been identified by many as a good instrument to fight against crimes in the society. Across the nation, some communities and even local government areas have adopted sports as an instrument to help them fight youth crimes, because it is cheap, efficient and popular.
It is very easy to attract the teeming idle youths to a particular sports fiesta for a day, a week, or a month – depending on the financial capacity of the organisers to host the sports fiesta. While some of the youths would be participating as the principal actors, others would be part of the spectators.
This is exactly what was witnessed in Nasarawa State during the 2021 Easter season. It was the debut of the motorsport fiesta which thrilled the people of the state. The motorsport fiesta was attended by more than 200 racers and racing enthusiasts.
It was the maiden edition, which was facilitated by the President of the Nasarawa State Motorsports Community, Sanni Jibo. Although it was a one-day event, it brought out boredom from both the racers and the racing enthusiasts. The one-day motorsport event, which lit up the capital city of Lafia, was won by Habeed Nagode, who hails from Zuru, Kebbi State.
Nagode beat Capo and Kawu Yola to the second and third positions, respectively.
Speaking at the end of the event, Jibo said the event aimed at bringing value to the stakeholders.
“We are glad the sport is well accepted in the state. One thing we must note is that before the formal running of this project, several groups had been engaging in the sport at different levels within and outside Nasarawa. This event is an attempt to coordinate it and bring value to all stakeholders,” he said.
He said the interest in the sport was already present, adding that the atmosphere the visiting racers, riders, and other groups created confirmed the state as a hotbed for motorsports and diverse wheel sports.
“We are glad the government saw value in the empowerment that the sport can bring, especially its impact on the local economy and the huge potential of becoming a dragnet for tourism in the state,” he added.
“The government has shown immense support to this project, and his reception to some of our touring athletes during the event speaks volumes. We would liaise with key motorsports community to give depth and put the state and its potentials to the fore,” he said.
Some of the motorsport communities that were represented at the inaugural Nasarawa Auto Sports competition were: Abuja, Minna, and Zuru.
Yes, it was not a joke. Motorsport event actually took place in Nigeria, and it happened in Nasarawa State. The credit goes to the State for being the first state to not only organise the event, but the first to do so successfully.
Governments at all levels and stakeholders should borrow a leaf from Nasarawa State. More of such event, even in other sports, needs to be organised at intervals, but on yearly basis. Even if the financial muscles would not be enough to organise the fiesta annually, it would not be a bad idea to have it come up biennially.
On the federal and state governments’ parts, functional sports policy that would give the teeming Nigerian youths a sense of belonging need to be put in place.